UMB Bank makes investment to help women and minority-owned businesses

Altcapborrowers 2020

KC Region Small Business Relief + Recovery Loan Fund borrowers. 2020. Image courtesy AltCap.

COVID-19’s impact on small businesses across the Kansas City metro has lasted for months. It’s the most notable in minority and women-owned businesses in Wyandotte and Jackson County that are “non-essential.”

To help financially support these businesses, UMB Bank made a $200,000 investment through the KC Region Small Business Relief + Recovery Loan Fund to provide immediate relief to local businesses experiencing extreme economic disruption and financial strain as a result of the pandemic.

This is the first impact investment in E2 Notes and equity² hopes that other local organizations see the long-term benefits an investment like this can provide for communities right in their own backyards.

Unlike a traditional donation or loan, an impact investment allows the investor to have a social impact while earning a return on their investment, which can be reinvested for further social good. It’s a win for both the community and the organization.

UMB and equity²’s partnership plans to assist businesses that were disproportionately affected as a result of the pandemic. Since its launch, it’s been able to go beyond immediate help as it funded over $3 million in critical relief capital to small businesses that needed it before UMB tagged in.

“We feel like it’s a great opportunity for us to deploy our capital in such a vehicle as equity² and to serve the communities of Jackson and Wyandotte County,” UMB Bank President and CEO Jim Rine says. “We can’t think of a better partner. AltCap has been doing this for quite a while and we feel really good about where this is headed.”

As of Nov. 2, AltCap made over 134 loans, with 1 in 3 loans going out to minority-owned businesses and 1 in 2 loans going to women-owned businesses. UMB’s $200,000 investment has gone to these businesses, with half going to the Missouri side and the other half going to Kansas.

Rine also says that  UMB looked for ways to help businesses and the $200,000 investment was one of the best ways to do so. Businesses interested in applying for loans should visit AltCap’s website.

Emily Lecuyer, the managing director, says that they could only lend out the capital they had at the time. They were looking for a partner that’s strong, well-respected, and local, which led to a conversation with UMB. Their partnership demonstrates that it works and it’s successful, but she says that they aren’t done helping.

“This new impact investment route is really powerful as a solution to helping Kansas City’s small business community, which is what attracted us to work with UMB,” Lecuyer says. “Both the community leadership and the internal leadership under Jim had everyone really on board with figuring out how to make this work.”

“It’s our duty, as a bank, to support the community through various endeavors. Banks are regulated and they’re supposed to do that, but we do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Rine says. “Kansas City, Jackson County, and Wyandotte County have needs and we’re trying to help fill those needs through more than just our traditional banking channels.”

You can learn more about E2 Notes and becoming an impact investor by contacting Lecuyer at emily@alt-cap.org or contacting them at https://www.e2investing.com/contact)

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